The Wiltshire School was founded in 2012 to meet the educational needs of local children. Founder Torevi Munhangu realised that the children in his area were starting out at 4am in the morning to get to the nearest school 15km away and sometimes sleeping overnight during the week in very unsuitable places to avoid doing the exhausting journey every day. This put the girls particularly in a very vulnerable position and there were some instances of rape.
Wiltshire school aims to offer quality education at minimum cost and cultivate Christian values in young pupils.
The school has grown rapidly having taught at least 300 children since 2012. Enrolment has grown from under fifty in 2012 to 140 in 2016. The children mostly come from the farming community in the Chivhu area, a rural district near the capital Harare, although some are now coming from Harare and other towns in Zimbabwe, even one student from England this year! The 140 is made up of about 100 boarders (mostly girls) and 40 day students.
These students are taught by 9 teachers including Torevi and his wife. The school premises have grown rapidly since 2012 with new classrooms and buildings added every year. Torevi is very gifted and has many practical skills which he employs to build and equip the school with everything it needs such as electricity from a generator or the newly connected mains, and water from the schools borehole or wells.
The school teaches 14 subjects up to GCSE level and is hoping to introduce A level next year (2017). Whilst the facilities at the school are still being developed they do have 16 computers with a server and an interactive whiteboard.
The widespread famine in 2016 necessitated a feeding programme for the day students as it became clear the children were close to fainting from hunger and were unable to study. This is continuing in the opening months of 2017. The school charges the parents a small fee for its services but is financed mainly by grants from various agencies, charities, and UK churches. They urgently need more financial support to help meet the growing needs of the school and its pupils. Torevi’s goal for next year is to build 6 more classes and a science lab, plus extend the boarders hostels. A little goes a long way when you realise Torevi undertakes or oversees so much of the work himself, with the children helping and learning traditional building skills such as making the bricks used in construction.